A brief description of the analytical methods used to determine the parameters specified for sugar products is given below. Details of different methods of sugar analysis can be found in “Sugar Analysis – ICUMSA Methods” published by the International Commission for Uniform Methods of Sugar Analysis (ICUMSA).
pH is measured in the laboratory using an electronic pH meter. Pure sugar has a near neutral pH range of 6.5 - 7.0. Too high or low pH conditions during the processing stage are regarded as unfavourable as it tends to encourage colour formation and inversion.
The residue remaining after burning off all organic matter is called “ash” and is determined electronically using a conductivity meter.
When sugar is subjected to inversion and destruction, acids and other compounds are produced and these may cause the formation of colour. White sugar colour is determined by the approved method of ICUMSA. The colourants in sugar products are pH sensitive and therefore colour is measured at neutral pH.
Moisture content of sugar is important as it is a controlling parameter for tendency of sugar to cake. When the moisture content of the sugar is too high, sugar crystals tend to adhere to each other, resulting in caking.
5. Polarisation or Pol
A measure of sugar concentration in a solution based on its ability to rotate the plane of polarisation of polarised light. Polarisation is measured by a saccharimeter, with a scale reading in percentage of sucrose.
6. Sieving Analysis
Grain size of sugar is determined by MA/CV test method. MA (mean aperture) is the mean/average grain size and the CV (coefficient of variation) is a measure of the regularity of the crystal size. The higher the CV value, the more irregular the crystals are.